The occupy Wall Street movement started occupying Canadian cities across the country, to show sympathy for the NY City protest. While the theme has been to oppose greed and Bay Street, Toronto’s Financial District, no clear cohesive message has emerged. A Nanos poll suggests that seven of then Canadians are aware of the protests and have a favourable or somewhat favourable view of the protests, with Quebecers and those under 30 having the most favourable view.
The poll suggests that the lack of a clear task and leadership may represent a risk in terms of it attempting to sustain the movement.
To follow is a review of the latest Nanos national random telephone survey of 1,202 Canadians 18 years of age and older. It was completed between October 20th and October 24th, 2011. The statistics of a random sample of 1,202 respondents are accurate to within 2.8 percentage points, plus or minus, 19 times out of 20.
Of the total sample 822 Canadians had heard of Occupy Wall Street. A sample of 822 Canadians is accurate ± 3.4 percentage points 19 times out of 20.
Awareness Question: Prior to today, had you heard or not heard of the demonstrations called Occupy Wall Street?
Not heard 31.6%
Favourability Question: Do you have a favourable, somewhat favourable, somewhat unfavourable or unfavourable impression of the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations? (n=822, Only Canadians who have heard of Occupy Wall Street)
Somewhat favourable 21.3%
Somewhat unfavourable 11.7%
Drivers of favourable and unfavourable impressions: Do you have a favourable, somewhat favourable, somewhat unfavourable or unfavourable impression of the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations? Why do you have that opinion? (n=822, Only Canadians who have heard of Occupy Wall Street)
Top 5 favourable/somewhat favourable impression drivers (n=480)
Support demonstration/Valid views 22.9%
Need/Right to raise awareness/take a stand 19.8%
Large gap between rich and poor 14.0%
People too rich/Corporate greed/power 10.2%
Freedom of expression/opinion 5.8%
Top 5 unfavourable/somewhat unfavourable impression drivers (n=271)
Pointless/ Won’t change anything/ Not relevant to Canada 37.6%
The movement lacks focus/ leadership 22.1%
Agree with some views but not demonstration/alternative methods 7.7%
Get jobs/ Be responsible for yourself/ Stop causing trouble 7.0%
Not sure what they are protesting 2.2%
With the onset of winter, especially in the Canadian prairies, the problem may resolve itself. Mayors across the country are dealing with the difficult question on how to stop the occupation without duplicating the violence of Oakland. Most authorities across the country claim that this has become a safety issue. A poll conducted a week later may have had different results.
Canada’s economy has fared relatively well and its banks were not affected by the crisis. Thus the question remains, “What is Occupation Canada protesting? Apparently they’re not sure.